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quick easy stair workout

15 Minute Stair Workout: Build Agility and Endurance

If your knees are feeling some pain before, during, or after the workout, I will be coming out with a new post on hamstring stretches for knee pain. If you want to be notified when that comes out, subscribe to my email list, and I’ll let you know.

The stair workout is one of those all-time classics that never gets old. No matter how many times I do them, I am always panting for air after (and during). They are great for the lungs and our overall health. You can use them several different ways:

  1. Use the 15 minute stair workout as its own workout for the day.
  2. Use the quick stair workout as a warm-up to your normal routine.
  3. Add the stair exercises in between sets to your normal workout routine.
  4. Finish off with the stairs to use up all of your pent up energy.

However you do decide to use them, here are some quick tips before starting:

  1. Be soft on the knees. Land silently on the toes to prevent injuries. If you have knee problems, keep your feet as low to the ground as possible to limit impacts.
  2. Do these in athletic position. Here is athletic positioning from Stack.com if you need a reminder of what that is. Don’t let the knees go in front of the toes!
  3. Use your arms. What? Yes, your arms. Your whole body should be involved in this, including your arms and core.

The Workout

Perform each exercise for one minute. You have time for a five second break in between stair exercises if you want it. (If I were you, I’d skip that break and go all out!) Watch the video, and if you want any tips, take a look down below for each exercise.

 

Normal Stair Run

This is the warm-up, so don’t get cocky. If you aren’t loose, start at 25%. Then move up to 50% and work your way up to 100%. Remember to keep those feet soft and quiet while going up the stairs.

L-L-R-R Tap-ups

I actually really enjoy this one. It is a little difficult to explain, but really you are just walking up the stairs, except you are stepping twice with each step. Hopefully that makes sense. Take a look at the video if you want further clarification. On the second step, you should power yourself up. This should make all of your steps “taps” rather than hard steps.

Wide Steps

I know, I know, it looks a little funny. I think I missed a few steps in the video, as well. I was getting a little ahead of myself. Remember to use the arms, because this is a full body workout.

One Leg Hops

My one piece of advice for this one: be soft. Knees are not easily fixed. If you want, you can even walk down the stairs normal, but go up on one foot. You should feel it in your core if you are going at full speed.

L-R-L-R Tap-ups

I like to add some mental toughness into my workouts. This one takes some focus, as you have to really think about what you’re doing. If you are having trouble getting into a rhythm, try counting 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 as you step, it will help.

Two-Legged Hop

Use your core! Go straight up the stairs and not side to side for this one.

L-R Step-ups

Again, this one will work your mind as well as you body. Do your best to get the rhythm down before going at full speed.

Up-Up-Down Hops

Try to stay low to the ground, and get as many steps in as you can. I goof up on these all the time.

High Knee Tap-ups

Power your knees up to your chest, or close to it. Don’t over-arch your back to do this, however. Stay straight up.

Side-to-Side Two-Legged Hops

Now you can go side to side. Go as far as you can to the side. If you don’t have a lot of room on the sides, work with what you can.

Two-Legged Skip Hops

Pretty simple. Hop up as far as you can without hurting yourself. (Or hurt yourself and learn from it, which is what I like to do!)

Sideways Step-ups

Stay straight with your whole body, and don’t let your upper torso turn towards the top of the stairs.

Butt-Kick Step-ups

Only do these going up the stairs. If you do them down the stairs, your knees start to cave in too far, and your heels catch the stairs. It is also very dangerous, so I highly recommend walking down the stairs.

 

If you liked this workout, subscribe to my YouTube channel and to this website to be notified when new workouts come out that will help you become a better all around athlete. Here is what I have coming soon:

-Proper Posture for Athletes

-The Ultimate Home Gym 

-Types of Workouts

-Dynamic Warm-up Before Working Out

-Static Stretching After Working Out

-Hamstring Stretches for Knee Problems

Pull Up Bar Ab Workout

Looking for an ab workout centered around your pull up bar? This is perfect for you. All you need is a pull up bar and rock hard abs! (and a dumbbell if you want to add difficult).

It looks all fun and games until you try it. My word is it difficult for beginners. These are definitely easier if you are flexible, and also if you have less weight on the lower half of your body. You will definitely have to be committed if you are willing to try this, but in the end, it’s worth it.

Brendan Myers will lead you through the workout:

 

Top 6 Resistance Band Workout Routines – Best Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance Bands are probably one of my favorite ways to workout. They are so versatile, but not many people use them. I’d say the best part about them is that they are extremely portable. You can’t take with you a barbell, a set of 5 dumbbells, and a bench if you head out of town on a business trip for a week. You can, however, take a set of resistance bands in a small bag with you. You can work you legs, arms, core…Man, I’ll just say it, you can do practically anything with these.

I am not completely biased. I do understand the limits that come with these. While I found upper body mostly easy to find workouts for Read more

New Baseball Program

Want more out of your baseball game? I know I did. I might have lost my chance, but you know what they always say, learn from your mistakes. I sure have, and I want you to learn BEFORE your mistakes.

If you have the skills and talents to go far in baseball, I want to give you the tools to go further. If you think you are strong, I want to help you be stronger.

I know far too well what it feels like to head home early in tournaments. Believe it or not, in high school I was in the section finals (one win away from state) two times. Both times we lost. It felt horrible the first time, and the second time I just about hung my glove up for the last time because of the anger that was inside me. I relive that game ever too often in my head, thinking of all of the ways that me and my teammates could have been the ones dogpiling at the end of the game. If you are wondering, we lost the game in the bottom of the 8th inning on a walk-off.
Sadly, I have a video of it…(haven’t decided if I want to show you that just yet)
My goal for you, after reading this book, is to be able to have the tools needed to hit that ball 50 feet OVER the fence. Whether you are in high school, college, or training to go pro, this workout program WILL and DOES work. They say to study successful people and do what they do. This whole program is based on taking a mix of professional baseball players’ workout regimens, and combining them to create the ultimate army of baseball players.
Before getting into the program, I want you to know where I am coming from and why I am writing this baseball workout program. I truly want to help you. I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did that cost me a state tournament experience and POSSIBLY MY BASEBALL CAREER.  I made (big picture) mainly two mistakes:
1) I skipped leg day (mostly from the fear of not really knowing how to “do” leg day) 
2) I didn’t work my arm into shape the way that a baseball player should
I went to a very small high school. It was a class of about 45 (23 boys) students. Ten of those (almost half of the guys) were on the baseball team. The good thing about being a small school is that we didn’t have to be as big and strong as the bigger schools were. The bad thing about that was that we weren’t big and strong.
Our coach gave us a workout program the summer before our senior year. It included three different workout days: upper body, lower body, and a mixed day. It was probably the most basic workout program you can get, but it was good for beginning lifters. I had been “lifting” at home ever since 9/10th grade, but I didn’t know a lot or use very heavy weights. I also didn’t work my legs because the girls don’t see those on the basketball court or at the beach, right? The consequences of not working my legs was a loss in batting power and probably a lower batting average. In my defense (not an excuse), I did sprain my ankle prior to my senior basketball season, which halted any weight training for a couple of months, and by the time my ankle was mostly healed, it was too late to build up muscle before the baseball season started.
The program we had also did not focus on our throwing shoulder or shoulder blade/back muscles. It had shoulder workouts, but not ones specifically for throwing. We also were not taught dynamic stretching, which has been found in many studies to get better results than static stretching prior to sports events. The consequences of this for me was a throbbing arm after every game during my senior year. I lost a lot of arm strength and was not as good of a shortstop as I had been known to be in the past.
Baseball wasn’t much fun for me during or after my senior year. I want baseball to be fun for you, and I want you to be able to play healthy until YOU make the choice to quit. Now accidents and injuries sometimes happen that you really can’t do much to prevent, but in my case it could have been prevented.
This program will focus on three things:
1) Stretching prior to AND after workouts and throwing
2) Full body muscle strengthening (including arm-targeting workouts and exercises)
3) Speed and agility training
Let’s get into it. We will start of with stretching: when and how to do it.
DYNAMIC STRETCHING 
Contrary to common belief, baseball is not a slow or lollygagging sport. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. Explosiveness, power, acceleration, and agility are all better suites for baseball. The swing needs speed, power, quickness, and control. Pitching takes balance, speed, and control. For fielding, agility, speed, strength, and balance are all a must to excel at the sport.
We can’t use that speed, power, quickness, control, balance, agility and strength if our muscles aren’t properly warm and loosened up. As I stated a bit earlier, dynamic stretching is very important to getting our bodies ready for exercising, working out, and performing during games. Stretching afterwards is also important, but should we stretch the same way before and after working out? Absolutely not.

10 Best Snack Ideas Before and After Working Out – Or Anytime!

I’m always hungry. I’ll eat a pizza, then two hours later I’ll be craving some more. Or worse, I’ll be craving some cookies or brownies that my grandma just dropped off. The worst is when you work out early in the morning, so the whole rest of the day you are scrounging the cupboards and pantry for anything that will satisfy your craving.

Let’s get to that list. I won’t say that all of these are super healthy, but for the most part they shouldn’t be too bad for you.

1) Granola Bars

I know, these are pretty obvious, but I just really wanted to share some of my favorites. And yes, obviously I like peanut butter so I apologize if you have a peanut allergy)
-Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Dipps

-Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bars – Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate

-Clif Crunch – Granola Bar – Chocolate Peanut Butter

 

2) Boiled eggs 

I like to eat eggs in the morning, but eating them throughout the day is a big hunger quencher (is that a saying?) and is healthy for you as well.

 

3) Raisins

Not everyone likes raisins, but if you do, they are clean to eat and easy to carry around.

 

4) Protein (Peanut Butter) Cookies

These might be my favorite option for a snack if I had to choose one. It obviously tastes better if you include sugar and such, but they are still good with something like chocolate or peanut butter in them.

 

5) Protein Brownies (I know, it’s similar, but not the same)

Just look at that picture. Oh my. I’m hungry now. I’ll be back in a minute.

 

6) Trail Mix

Oh yes, reminds me of boy scouts. Actually, now that I think of it, boy scouts was not a good time for me, so let’s not talk about that. But hey, eating Trail Mix is a great time for me!

 

7) Fruit
Fruit is always a good option. I like apples and peanut butter. You can also do bananas and peanut butter. Pears are good as well. Kiwi is a less popular one, but I always enjoy a good kiwi.

Body-Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine Review

Everyone wants to squat better! At least I think. Here is a great way to do so. The Body-Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat and Calf Machine is a fantastic way to build that muscle and tone up those legs, while still keeping that beautiful form of yours.




The Leverage Squat and Calf Machine is meant to be able to keep your back straight while squatting. It gets your mind off stabilizing the barbell on top of you, and it makes you focus primarily on just lifting with your legs.

Product Description: The machine comes with durafirm shoulder pads to help keep the shoulders stay comfortable throughout the movements. The foot plate is angled at 20 degrees for ideal squatting form.

This machine is great for strengthening and toning your glutes, thighs, calves, and lower back. Safety is ensured with this machine with the spring loaded safety lock. The great and most surprising fact about this machine is that it is durable and reliable enough for a big-time gym, but also it will fit in most houses. Squat more than 800 lbs with this bad boy, safely!

What people have to say:

“…absolutely no back pain. It helps put you in the exact perfect position.. Not only is this great for squat but also for calves and shrugs.. Extremely durable.”

“…it does have some shortcomings and nuisance issues that decrease its potential value. While I find the angled platform great for reducing knee stress, it’s a little too narrow in my opinion and I am taking the entire width up while wishing for the ability to take a slightly wider stance.”

“This is a very sturdy and easy to assemble.”

“The starting position sucks. I’m around average height at 6 feet and I have to crouch down to get into position. They should’ve made it so it has adjustable lock out heights.”

Our Final Take:
It is a great machine to build muscle galore in your legs, butt, calves, and lower back. It does not, however, work the stabilizer muscles used in normal squatting. The good thing is that it is easy on the knees and there is less chance of injuring yourself using it.

Buy it here, if you’d like:

Body Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine

Does Having Bigger Legs Make You Run Slower?





If you are looking for a simple and quick answer to that question. I would just say no and you could be on your way. But like most fitness questions out there, this one not that simple. We have to know what you are trying to achieve. That is, in fact, the question you should always be asking yourself before starting any new workouts or exercises. We don’t want to be doing workouts because they look cool or just because someone else does them.

Now if you are trying to impress someone, that is a perfectly reasonable excuse to do a workout you have no business doing (that was humor in case you didn’t know).

Because I really can’t give you a clear yes or no answer, I am going to try to answer this question to the best of my ability. Make sure you do some more research for your own personal case, because I can’t tell you yes or no unless I know why you are trying to get bigger legs.

The energy to run faster is potentially created, but there is so much more to the answer. If you are squatting more and more and creating larger quadriceps, what else are you working out? Think about what muscles are used in running: basically all of them. We can’t leave out the hamstrings or glutes or even the entire upper body.

Mike Trout of the Los Angelos Angels Major League Baseball team works out like any superstar athlete should. He works out 90 minutes a day for six or seven days a week during the offseason. His main goal is to build his legs and core, which is where most of the power comes from in baseball. He is a 6’2″, 240 pound outfielder. He has also is known to run over 20 miles per hour stealing bases. And one of his main workouts is squats.

So far our purposes, he is an excellent example of how to train to get bigger legs while also keeping the ability to run top speed. How does he do it? First, let’s look at the squats. While squats workout more than just one muscle, the main one is the quadriceps. How does he get the back side of the leg? Box jumps. Like I stated in our previous article Quick Tips for Beginners , whatever you work in the front, you should also work in the back. Box jumps work the hamstrings, which are need, as well as the glutes, to run at full speed.

Not only does he work the front and back of the legs, but he practices sprinting as he works out. As his legs get bigger, he trains his body to work with the extra weight. He also does sets of 25 pull-ups, knowing that the upper body is crucial in maintaining that top speed.

(If you have trouble with squat form, this machine might be perfect for you:
Body Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine)

Leg’s take another look at this study. Chris Johnson of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals is one of the fastest running backs in the National Football League. His trainer has him focus on balance, explosiveness and speed.

If he is looking to gain explosiveness, bigger legs isn’t necessarily the goal. So how does he gain explosive legs rather than just bigger legs?J His workout is not too different from most other athletes workouts, but there is a key focus: overall body explosiveness. Whether it is bench pressing, leg squatting, or the jammer, he uses his whole body to attain the results.

For the balance part of the workout, something I am extremely happy to see, he makes sure one part of his body isn’t stronger than the other. Or that one half isn’t a lot stronger than the other half. A key workout of his leg workout is single leg squats. I absolutely love the idea of these. His trainer notes that a lot of athletes and weightlifters can lift a lot more with one leg than the other. To make sure Chris Johnson isn’t favoring one leg or the other, he has him do squats with one leg, keeping both in shape.

Along with the explosive weight workouts, he uses resistance bands to keep his high jump maintained. This is a great workout because not only are the legs being used, but he has to use his upper body to gain momentum to get higher and explode up.

And finally, if you are still unsure of how this whole leg building and faster running process works, let’s take a look at the king of running, Usain Bolt.

He works out everything. The fastest man in the world works out everything. He even does squats. Like Chris Johnson, his workouts center around explosiveness. Without that extra measure of explosiveness, the rest of his body won’t be able to catch up to his legs.

He focuses on every single leg muscle, making sure that nothing is slowing him down. After all, we are only as fast as our weakest muscle.

So in conclusion, more weights in general does make you run slower. But if you train your body to run with that added extra weight and train your explosive muscles to accelerate at the correct rate, you should be just fine. The best of the best athletes are doing it, so if you put your mind to it, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to as well.

If you want to know the process and “how to” of running faster, check out the workouts that WILL help you run the fastest you can.

Habits That are Probably Hurting Your Workout Routine





A lot of us have searched for all of the things that will boost our energy and workout habits, but what about the habits that hurt our workout routines? There are days where we go into the gym and just aren’t feeling it. But why is that? I’ve compiled a list of reasons why you might be feeling the afternoon slump.

These range from food habits to attitude habits all the way to actual physical habits. I’m no biologist, psychologist, or physical trainer. These results I have come up with are simply in effect to my research and past experiences.

These harmful habits might not only hurt your energy level, but could literally be a roadblock, stopping your muscles from growing. Or at least not helping them in any way.

 

Working out after work
Now, this might only be a small list of you, but the time of day you workout could decrease your workout effectiveness. If you have a job that physically drains you and leaves you without energy, this might help you. Working out in the morning might also get your blood pumping throughout the rest of the day. And now you don’t have to dread the physical exertion that you would have had to use going to the gym later, you’re already done before you head to work, school, or wake up the kids! If you don’t have much time in the morning, try our 15 Minute Daily Workout Routine! It works the upper and lower body, and leaves you feeling like you just worked out for an hour every time!

 

Too much soda (or pop as we call it in Minnesota)
You may have heard that pop is bad for you. You heard correctly. The only time pop has EVER, EVER, EVER “helped” me is when I was sick and wouldn’t drink anything other than pop. Pop has a ton of sugar, carbonation, and other ingredients that simply don’t help you in any way shape or form. Some people it doesn’t affect as much as others, but try going off it for a month and see how you feel. It does wonders for me physically. It also gets rid of the attachment that you feel to drink pop. Some feel it more than others, but if you drink it at all, there’s always a sort of attachment that you can’t let go unless you completely “go off” pop.

 

Naps are putting you to sleep (literally)
Studies have been done recently showing and experimenting with the effectiveness of naps. Different results have been found, and the reason for that is because not all of the test subjects are the same. In fact, none of us are the same. We are all unique in different ways, and different things affect us. One thing is clear throughout almost all testing: sleep is good. Now, naps on the other might not be the best. The most clear answer I’ve found is that usually when we sleep for an hour or longer, our bodies shut down. When we wake up we have to completely reset and get our blood pumping again. Just think how long some of us take in the morning to wake up. Get those 8 hours of sleep. Try to do it at night is my advice, although some people can withstand taking daily naps and still workout afterwards.

 

You’re drained of nutrients.
My mom always would tell me, if I couldn’t swallow pillows, then find another way to get my nutrients. I take supplements like Vitamin C packs, or I look for other athlete supplement replenishers. Powerade and Gatorade do replace electrolytes, but they have a lot of bad ingredients in them, like a ton of sugar. I recently watched a video of how much sugar they put into each bottle, and it honestly made me gag a little bit. In all honesty, if you want the best supplements and nutrients in your body, it’s going to take a lot of research. My advice would be to first of all look for what you don’t want in your drinks, then search for the drinks that exclude those ingredients. This is big in protein drinks. Whenever looking for protein powders, I start with anything that doesn’t have soy, sucralose, sugar, and artificial sweeteners and go from there.

 

Not enough water.
Water is essential in day to day life. I learned this when I was young. If I don’t drink water, my day generally doesn’t go too well. I may have to pee a lot, but at least I am not dehydrated. When you are sick with the stomach flu, a lot of that weakness feeling is being drained from liquids. Staying hydrated keeps cramps away and keeps the body healthy for high intensity workouts. This is not the case for everyone, but if you are not sweating a lot during workouts and you’re getting really tired, you may be dehydrated. Always have a bottle of water next to you while working out, or even just sitting at the computer.

Ab and Core Workout – Great for Building a Strong Core and Six Pack

I’ve done a lot of varieties of ab and core exercises. This seems to be the best I’ve done so far. Obviously there’s always going to be ways to improve and get better, but this is about as good as it gets.

Build a strong core and maybe even a six pack while you’re at it. Push yourself through the abdominal workouts. Make sure you are using your abs and core to do the workouts. If it’s not hurting, you’re probably not getting better.

Here’s our list, try to do them without stopping. If it is getting easy, add in more reps, or maybe go through them a second time! That sounds like fun, right?

Custom Arm Out Planks x 10 reps

Start out in a plank position. Reach one arm forward then back. Hold the plank position for a second, then reach the other arm forward and back. That is one rep.

Custom Reverse Leg Kick Planks x 10 reps

Stay in plank position. Bring one leg up your side up towards your chest and then back down. Then bring your other leg up your side towards your chest and back down. That is one rep.

Side Planks x 10 reps

(You can do this one with or without a dumbbell)
Start out in side plank position. Holding the dumbbell in your hand, raise it up towards the sky. Now bring it back down towards the floor and underneath your body. The final movement should be a slight twist of the body before bringing the dumbbell back up. Do this for both hands.

Bicycle Pedals (Knees to Elbows) x 60 reps

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Feet should be slightly off the floor. Now go in a back and forth motion, touching your right elbow to your left knee, and vise versa. One elbow to knee is one rep.

Reverse Crunches x 20 reps

Lie on your back with your arms to your sides. With your knees bent the whole time, bring your knees in towards your body and raise to the sky. Think of a crunch, but backwards.

Sit-Ups x 20 reps

Nothing unusual about these. I do have a couple tips though: 1) Try to keep your feet on the floor without weights (works the core more) and 2) Keep your arms pressed across your chest the whole time.

 

Obliques

 

Side to Side Twisters x 60 reps

Sit up on the floor with your feet slightly raised off the floor and hands in prayer formation. Keeping your feet off the floor throughout, bring your hand from side to side touching the floor on both sides. One floor touch is a repetition.

Side to Side Crunches x 60 reps

Lie down with your hands to your side and knees bent up. Your feet are on the ground. Take your head slightly off the floor. Now reach your right arm to your right foot then back. Now your left arm to your left foot. 30 reps for each side.

I guarantee this workout will enable your to get a six pack. If you want a little extra help or want to try something new, also try this bad boy out:

Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine

First things first, this one’s new. It has a unique design and is not like anything I’ve seen before.
Buy it here:

We’ll go over a brief description of the machine, a few of the specs, and some things users have had to say.

Brief description: The Stamina Body Trac Glider is an all around body workout. Rowing itself is known to be a huge full body workout, so be to be able to do that in your living room is a great idea. Major body groups that are worked: legs, back, arms, abdominals, and buttocks (so basically all of them). Change your level of workout by adjusting the shock resistance. If you don’t want it to take up space while you’re not using it, fold it up and put it away in storage.

Features:
-multi-function electronic monitor
-gas shock resistance
-steel frame construction
-compact storage
-full range of motion rowing
-easy assembly

Reviews: (these are what people are saying most frequently)

“It is this only exercise that I do and I have seen remarkable results.”

“The seat is not well padded.”

“You simply cannot beat this Stamina Body Trac Rowing Machine at this very low cost — it is an amazing deal!”

“Great machine for the price. I too had the problem with my shoes slipping out of the foot straps.”

Overall, the machine seems to be the best row for your buck. Some gyms have rowing machines a lot bigger than this one, but the pros of this one is the fact that you can have one in your living room. It is also much cheaper than a big honking gym rowing machine.